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Fiddlesticks (1930)

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Flip the Frog is the featured performer at an outdoor nightclub in the forest. His dancing and piano-playing please the crowd of critters.


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Flip the Frog jumps happily from lily pad to lily pad, crossing the pond in order to get to an outdoor nightclub in the forest. Flip is the featured performer, and the crowd of critters is happy to see him. As the insect orchestra plays below, Flip dances on a tree stump. Later, he plays the piano as a mouse accompanies him on the violin. The piano cries during a sad song, and Flip has to blow its nose. Flip offends his instrument by caressing its leg with a bit too much familiarity. The piano kicks Flip, and the frog retaliates by punching the keys as he plays. Flip's violent performance leads to a crashing finish. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

16 August 1930 (USA)  »

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(2-strip Technicolor)
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One of only two Flip the Frog cartoons produced in color. See more »


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User Reviews

1st Iwerks Studios' cartoon; while not outstanding, was good as Walt's. There could have been legal battle over the Mickey look-alike in it!
26 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

FIDDLESTICKS was the first release from the studio of Ub Iwerks, the once and future associate of Mr. Walt Disney. We found it to be pleasant and amusing, but nothing to make it stand out from the many releases from other studios of the day.

The action takes place out in nature's own wilds. A lily pad and frog pond,to be exact. There we are treated to the main character, Flip, performing on a seemingly living piano. Several well known tunes are used, all in public domain,no doubt But besides being the first of the Flip series, this is the only one of the series to be filmed in color.Later, other of Iwerks Stdio's cartoons would use color, almost exclusively, except Flip, who remained in B& W.

Flip also was given a distinctive theme song,which used the croaking tone of a frog combined with traditional musical instruments.

However trivial and insignificant the previously stated information may be, there is one fact that seems to have escaped notice. Toward the end of Flip's recital, he is joined by an unnamed mouse character. The mouse plays the violin, accompanying the piano music. The melancholy tune even leads to the grand finale of the short.

Well, if this was not damn close to Disney's MICKEY! He even wore red shorts, with over-sized shoes. Why would Iwerks use a character of such strong resemblance? Well, there are always disputes about just who is responsible for any sort of joint creative endeavour. Disney said he was his creation, but his then associate, Ub Iwerks contributed some ideas, and was the animator to first bring Mickey to life.

In referring back to a law suit of about 40 years or so prior to this , a court ruling in the case of the KATZENJAMMER KIDS/CAPTAIN and the KIDS Comic strips, that a drawn cartoon character was the property of the artist, no matter where or for whom he is later employed.It was considered to be like his signature.** Well, there never was any litigation over this matter. The new mouse was given the ax by Iwerks and FLIP went into B & W. Eventually, Iwerks closed his studio and joined Walt again.

Sure is a lot of writing, especially for one little, virtually forgotten cartoon.

**You can read of the Court Case involving Hearst, Pulitzer, and THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS vs. THE CAPTAIN AND THE KIDS elsewhere in cyber space.

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